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Appearing in "Kraven's First Hunt"

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  • Ocean liner

Synopsis for "Kraven's First Hunt"

Years Ago: [Continuity 1]

Along the plains of Africa, Kraven the Hunter outruns a herd of gazelles on his way to his camp. There Kraven struggles with his dual nature, one of the contradictions between his heritage as a Russian nobleman and that of the savage hunter. Digging through his bag, Kraven goes over the letter sent to him by Dmitri Smerdyakov asking him to come to America. Going over the letter again, Kraven decides to take up the offer thinking that the never-ending hunt is destined to take him out of the jungles of nature to the concrete jungles of man.

Meanwhile, in New York City, an elderly man arrives at a jewelry shop just as the owner, Harold Jackson, is about to lock up for the night. The elderly man begs the shop owner to let him in to purchase a ring for his daughter's birthday. When the elderly man selects the most expensive ring and offers to pay cash, Harold lets him inside to pay for the item. That's when the elderly man, actually the Chameleon in disguise, attacks. Assuming the identity of the shopkeeper, the Chameleon beats Harold into submission and then robs the shop. As he walks back to his secret hideout, the Chameleon thinks about how people cling so tightly to their identity. After doffing his Harold Jackson disguise, the Chameleon thinks about the day when he can allow himself to become Dmitri Smerdyakov once more. Holding up masks of Kraven the Hunter and Spider-Man, he knows that this is a luxury he cannot allow himself just yet. At that very moment, Spider-Man is swinging across the city busting criminals and helping those in need, reveling in every moment until he realizes that he is due to get home. Rushing back to Queens, Spider-Man changes back into Peter Parker feeling bad about how he will have to lie to his Aunt May about his double-life, but he can't bring himself to tell her that he is Spider-Man because he isn't sure her fragile health will be able to handle knowing the truth. May is upset that Peter is late coming home because today is his Uncle Ben's birthday. As Peter blames himself for the death of his Uncle Ben, he feels even worse for being late.[Continuity 2] Noticing how down her nephew is being on himself, May tells Peter that she understands that he is a busy young man and says that his being there at all is a blessing. For a brief moment, Peter considers telling his Aunt the truth but decides against it telling May that she is the greatest instead.

Later, Sergei Kravinoff takes a cruiseship across the ocean to the United States. He decides to spend the evening dancing with one of the other passengers. The woman swoons over Kraven's wealthy background and the two soon go out to the deck to watch the ocean. When Sergie makes an advance that is unwanted, angering him. Struggling with the woman, she claws him across the face and calls him an animal, enraging him even more. He goes back to his room alone, Kraven gazes across a room plastered with photos and articles of Spider-Man. Stripping totally nude and unleashing a swarm of spiders, Kraven begins crushing and eating the arachnids to prepare for the coming hunt. While along the shores of New York City, the Chameleon stands on a pier, changing shapes between Kraven and Spider-Man. He can sense that Kraven is coming and finds himself conflicted between his love and hatred for his friend.

The next morning, Peter Parker joins Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson and his secretary Betty Brant to witness the arrival of Kraven the Hunter. Peter has been brought along to take photos of the famous hunter. When they arrive there, Peter runs into Liz Allen and Flash Thompson. Betty is instantly upset to see Liz Allen there, and Jameson scolds them for socializing on the job.[Continuity 3] That's when Kraven comes off the ship and Jonah tries to find out why he has come to America. That's when some of his wild animals break loose. Peter slips away to change into Spider-Man and catch the animals, but by the wall-crawler arrives on the scene, Kraven has rounded the animals up. Changing back into his civilian identity, Peter is then scolded by Jameson for not getting photos of Kraven in action. Once again Jameson asks Kraven why he has come to America, this time the man explains that he has come to hunt Spider-Man. As Kraven leaves, he stops senses Spider-Man and for a moment almost identifies him as Peter Parker, but dismisses the idea as ridiculous and leaves. Noticing that he attracted Kraven's attention briefly makes Parker paranoid, but he is relieved when the wild man takes off.

Later, Kraven meets with the Chameleon and the pair begin to plan the coming hunt for Spider-Man. As Kraven begins to drink a glass of his jungle brew, the Chameleon begs to drink some as well. Kraven mocks his ally, calling him by his real name, however Dmitri insists that he is only the Chameleon. Kraven pulls off the Chameleon's mask to see his withered elderly face and begs to differ. He then relents, giving the Chameleon the beverage. Drinking it, the Chameleon's vitality is restored and he recovers his mask. Kraven reminds the Chameleon of his position in this partnership, recalling how, as a boy, Dimitri was his slave. Later, Kraven tracks down the wall-crawler, finding the masked hero as is he rounding up a gang of crooks. As Spider-Man leaves, his spider-sense begins going off as Kraven ambushes him. Although he has the element of surprise, Spider-Man manages to land one good blow. Disorientated by the strike, Kraven sees the wall-crawler as a massive spider-creature and begins to panic. Taking one of the drug tipped tusks from his belt, Kraven manages to cut the wall-crawler with it and retreats. Cowering in an alley, Kraven begins to fear Spider-Man. He begins to become delusional thinking that the hero was the responsible for the fall of Russia, and the humiliation of his family, which led to his mother committing suicide. Finding Kraven, the Chameleon knows exactly what his ally is thinking of an openly mocks him for being weak. Angered, the Hunter strikes the Chameleon, telling him not to speak of his mother again. Being struck by Kraven triggers the Chameleon's years of abuse and begs Sergi to stop hitting him. Kraven helps Dimitri up and vows that he will succeed and destroy Spider-Man.

Meanwhile, Peter Parker has returned home where Kraven's drugs are still running through his system leaving him greatly disorientated. Going downstairs for a moment, his Aunt May asks if he is okay. Peter tells her that he is fine and goes back up to his room. Even though he can't get his arms to stop shaking, Peter decides to go back out as Spider-Man to continue searching for Kraven the Hunter. Peter eventually finds who he thinks is Kraven and follows the villain into Central Park. He is unaware that this is actually the Chameleon disguised as Kraven in order to act as a decoy. Distracted by the Chameleon's drum beating, Kraven manages to toss a net on the wall-crawler. As the hero struggles to get free, Kraven clamps on magnetic shackles one of the web-slinger's arm and leg. Fleeing, Spider-Man manages to dull the magnetic attraction between the two shackles by covering them with webbing. Finding who he thinks is Kraven the Hunter, Spider-Man quickly unmasks him and discovers that it is the Chameleon, who surrenders instantly. Spider-Man then leaves the Chameleon webbed up while he continues his search for the real Kraven. When Spider-Man begins stalking Kraven, the master hunted begins to panic and is ultimately webbed up by the wall-crawler. Spider-Man isn't interested in playing Kraven's game and after removing the shackles from his arm and leg, he leaves Kraven. The Hunter begs for Spider-Man to come back and kill him, but either the web-spinner didn't hear him, or ignored his request.

Several Days Later

After being arrested, Kraven the Hunter is eventually deported from the United States. He wakes up after a nightmare about spiders. In the other room he hears Dimitri crying out for his mask which has been removed from his face. Looking under his bed, Kraven finds the Chameleon's mask and gazes deeply into its eyeless face. At that same moment, Peter Parker is looking into his Spider-Man mask, thinking about how glad he is to be alive after his encounter with Kraven the Hunter. When Aunt May comes into his room, Peter quickly hides his mask before she can see it. She asks Peter that she and Anna Watson are going out for dinner and invites Peter to join them. The young man takes May up on her offer, asking his aunt if he had said that he loved her recently.

Appearing in "The Return of Spider-Woman"

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Synopsis for "The Return of Spider-Woman"

With her daughter visiting her grandmother, Julia Carpenter takes advantage of the opportunity to go on patrol across Los Angeles as Spider-Woman. As she rounds up criminals she thinks about how much her life has changed. First, Force Works -- the team she was a member of -- had recently disbanded when many of its members rejoined the Avengers.[Continuity2 1] Not long after this, many of her friends were among the Avengers who died during the battle against Onslaught in New York City.[Continuity2 2] After busing some crooks, Julia comes across a costume patterned after the one worn by the original Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew. Something is animating the costume and it reaches out, writing the phrase "help me" in Julia's psychic web. When the costume suddenly floats away, Spider-Woman follows after it.

In San Francisco, Lindsay McCabe has hired a woman named Jillian Woods to help locate her missing roommate and business partner, Jessica Drew. Jillian is a student of the occult and believes that her special talents will help find the Drew woman. That's when Spider-Woman enters the room, lured to this location by the animated costume of her predecessor. The trio of women compare notes, and that's when Jillian explains that they needed a woman of power to help them retrieve Jessica. That's when Jillian pulls out her Shadow Key and uses it to open a portal to another realm. Spider-Woman isn't sure she can trust the two women. Lindsay, however, is willing to do anything to rescue her friend and enters the portal alone. Fearing for her safety, Spider-Woman follows after her, trailed by the original Spider-Woman control. Jillian merely stands by and watches, as everything is going according to plan.

Using her psi-webs to create an anchor to the portal, Spider-Woman catches up with Lindsay and they travel deeper into the dark void they have entered. In the distance they spot a golden opening with a female form trapped in the middle. It turns out to be Jessica Drew, who is alive but unconscious. As Spider-Woman tries to pull Drew free, Lindsay notices a massive spiked tentacle rising out of the abyss. It then grabs Spider-Woman by the hair and pulls her into the darkness. That's when the animated Spider-Woman costume arrives and merges with Jessica Drew, reviving her again. Seeing her successor in trouble, the original Spider-Woman flies after Julia and rescues her. Jessica then flies back and grabs Lindsay and the three women flee back through the portal.

Once back on the other side, Jillian closes the portal, sealing the Void Eater behind the portal. In the aftermath of the rescue, Jessica Drew finally gets to meet the woman who took up her identity. Now that the original Spider-Woman is back in action, Julia offers to give her name back.[Continuity2 3]

Solicit Synopsis

This Spidey special features a moody retelling of the first meeting between a young Wall-Crawler and Kraven the Hunter— exposing never-before-revealed secrets about the Chameleon, Kraven and our web slinging hero!


Continuity Notes

Kraven's First Hunt:

  1. This story revisits the events of Amazing Spider-Man #15 mostly from the perspective of Kraven the Hunter. Per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 this story happens nine years prior to the Spider-Man stories published in 1996.
  2. At the time of this story, Peter's Uncle Ben had recently been murdered by a burglar as seen in Amazing Fantasy #15. Peter blames himself because, as Spider-Man, he could have stopped the thief a few days earlier.
  3. At the time of this story, Peter was dating Betty Brant since Amazing Spider-Man #7. Liz Allen started becoming interested in Peter Parker in Amazing Spider-Man #12, making Betty jealous whenever they crossed paths.

The Return of Spider-Woman

  1. Force Works disbanded in Force Works #22 following events of the Crossing event.
  2. Many of the Avengers were seemingly killed in Onslaught Marvel Universe #1. However, unknown to everyone at this time, they survived as seen in the Heroes Reborn event. They will eventually return in Heroes Reborn: The Return #14.
  3. The narrative of this story says this story continues in the pages of Spider-Man Team-Up, however this never comes to pass as the series was cancelled soon after. The two Spider-Women part company here with Julia being seen again in Avengers (Vol. 3) #1 and Jessica appearing in Wolverine (Vol. 2) #125. The pair won't end up working together again until Spider-Woman Volume 3 when they become mentors to Mattie Franklin, yet another successor to the title of Spider-Woman.

Chronology Notes

Events in this story occur behind the scenes that affects the chronology of the following characters:

  1. Spider-Man:
  2. May Parker:
  3. Kraven the Hunter:
  4. Chameleon:
  5. Flash Thompson:
  6. Liz Allan:
  7. J. Jonah Jameson:
  8. Betty Brant:

See Also

Links and References


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